Park Day 3, USF and IOA - Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Last day at UOR before heading to WDW in the evening. We checkout of CBBR in the morning storing our bags here before taking the theme park bus to CW. Note that the theme park bus from CBBR goes to the transportation hub at the main parking garage outside of CW and you will go through the main security checkpoint with day guests. This drops you close to the main security check point (closer than parking in the garage), but you still need to walk through all of CW to the theme parks. the main security checkpoint moves quickly; UOR uses bag scanners (not individual manual checks) and there is always a no bags line. We’ve never waited more than a few minutes even with bags.
First stop: Voodoo Donuts for breakfast around 9:30 am. My sister and father are big donuts fans; my mom not as much, but hey, it’s vacation. Also, Voodoo has vegan donuts and she’s always up for trying a vegan item. There is a line, but it moves efficiently. We eat inside before heading off to USF. We bought a few different donuts; all were tasty (not surprisingly).
To USF! First up, Rip Ride Rockit. Only my sister and my dad ride this. My mom doesn’t do the tall coasters and I elect to sit this one out too. I’ve done RRR before; however, I find that it can be rather rough on my head and neck. After 2 days of running around VB, I’m feeling some tiredness and I know I have 8 consecutive days at WDW parks to get through. Ironically, my mom would probably love RRR’s rickety-ness, but that first hill is a no go (also, the track is exposed). She loves the Matterhorn Bobsleds at DL which are notorious for being uncomfortably rough.
From here, it’s a leisurely stroll over to the NY area and a ride on the Mummy. An excellent ride IMO. Everyone can ride this one. Dad and I head over to Men in Black next. My mom doesn’t do this because it spins uncontrollably (she cannot do spinning rides at all; she can’t even look at teacups). My sister elects to skip this too this time around. I have never done the full standby queue on MiB until now. The pre-show definitely enhances the ride, IMO. We manage acceptable scores, but nothing special.
Now, it’s time for lunch at Lombard’s Seafood Grille. I made reservations here in advance. Not much information about Lombard’s is out there, but the menu looked pretty good and the interior photos* looked like it had a Haunted Mansion meets family restaurant vibe which is basically perfect for my family. See the Orlando Informer photo gallery of Lombard’s https://orlandoinformer.com/universal/lombards-seafood-grille/
Our duck hosts at Lombard’s
Seated right after check-in near the aquarium in the main room on ground level.
We ordered the mussels appetizer for my dad, my sister and me. My standards when it comes to mussels dishes like this are ridiculously high. There is a restaurant that I regularly frequent when on work trips and it has an exceptional mussels dish with chorizo and cherry tomatoes. It’s the most amazing mussels dish I have had in my life. This didn’t live up to that, but it was good. Most importantly, my dad and sister (who have never had the dish I speak of, but have standards) thought it was very good.
All our entrees were good. I don’t remember what everyone had, but we were all happy with our meals. I had a grilled chicken salad. It was lovely; fresh ingredients all around, exactly what I was looking for in a lunch dish. Service was very good. I highly recommend Lombard’s for anyone looking for a pleasant table service dining option at UOR along with anyone with specific dietary needs or just looking for a healthier meal in USF.
Now off to King’s Cross to get the Hogwart’s Express to Hogsmeade.
We ride Forbidden Journey (mom sits it out with our bags as she may not be, um, “not compatible” with this attraction; thanks, Mom!) From Hogmeade, my dad heads back to CBBR to meet up with Hertz rental car to pick up our rental car for our WDW trip section. Since we do lots of resort dining at WDW, we need a rental car (we’ll have 5 adults at WDW; my dad gets really good deals on Hertz rentals so cheaper than 2 ride shares). My sister and I spend some time working on our spell work in Hogsmeade. Then we slowly move our way back to the exit via Jurassic Park…
Strolling through Jurassic Park, we encounter a family of ducks! This is straight out of Disneyland; ducks just roaming as if they own the place (to be fair, they basically do).
Well then, Jurassic Park River Adventure has a 10 minute posted wait. So we have to ride it. That 10 minute wait was actually a 1 minute wait. After exiting the ride, we get a message from my dad that he has the rental car. Yay! We head back to CBBR electing to walk the garden path from Royal Pacific to avoid the CW hubbub. It’s a nice walk but beat in mind that it’s 90 degrees outside. I insist at stopping at the Atomic Tonic Grill on the way to the CBBR lobby to get a snack to hold us over until our 8:15 pm ADR at Jiko’s. The Atomic Tonic Grill is in the courtyard that you first encounter walking from the parks to CBBR (the pool with the slide). I ordered the Mediterranean Platter at AT (Hummus, olives, tomato, cucumber, pepperoncino, feta, and warm pita) and it was great at holding us over until our dinner. They packed it up to go and we ate it on our car trip to WDW. My sister and I picked up the purchase and we got drinks to go for us as well as smoothies for our parents (all using our reusable CBBR cups of course) Dad was slightly annoyed that we had purchased real food; but he ended up agreeing that this was the perfect snack to hold us over to dinner.